Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let's talk about the bug situation.

I am not a fan of bugs. Don't like them. Any kind. Spiders, especially, but really, any bug. Flying, crawling, flying AND crawling, stinging, buzzing, skittering, skootching, doesn't matter. Hate them. I should own stock in Raid. There is always a can visible in my home, and I have been known to actually sleep with one (it was purely platonic, mind you. I lived in a spider nest.).

When I first moved into this most recent casita, I had sugar ant issues. I'm not crazy about them, but they are pretty small and somewhat manageable in terms of how many you can kill at once. After bathing the entire apartment in Ortho Max Home Defense (something I can type better than say), they pretty much cleared up and I have been critter-free for the most part since August 2008. How we take for granted the good times!

About a week ago I brought in the mail and put it on the counter. I turned to the counter over my dishwasher (an entirely different counter altogether) and spotted what looked like a sugar ant crawling around. Squashed it, but immediately checked out the usual places sugar ants might congregate - the kitties' food dish, the sugar bowl, the honey bear in the cupboard. Nothing. I decided I must have just brought it in with me with the mail and went on my merry way.

Later I loaded the dishwasher and noticed, with horror, that the bottom of the dishwasher, where the drain is, had quite a few teeny tiny ants all around it. They were crawling up the door as well. I was not happy. I grabbed the Ortho and blasted the drain area, then set the timer for 4 hours later to clean out the carci ("carcass" plural) (to me). The next morning, ants. Not dead, just clean. Bitter. But perhaps the Ortho hadn't had enough time to do its job.

That night I was leaving town for the trip to Ontario, so I blasted the fuck out of the dishwasher with the Ortho again, sprayed Raid on the inside part of the door, and closed it up for the weekend. Once I got home on Sunday, I peeked in the dishwasher (after the power came on, of course, I'm afraid of the dark and I certainly don't want to see bugs while standing in a darkened room) and sure enough, busy little hormigitas doing whatever they feel is best in the bottom of a kitchen applicance that has no visible food source. I blasted, yet again, with Ortho, and went to bed.

Yesterday, Monday, I discussed with my landlord the situation at hand. She agreed to phoning the condo association and asking for their advice. Their solution? They were spraying for bugs outside the units in the next day or so, so for now, how about ant traps? I told her I would comply (I really would have preferred an exterminator but I'll do cheap options first, if it helps the cause. I don't like being a pain-in-the-ass tenant). Went to the debaucle that is the Beaverton Fred Meyer (why are they remodeling the Raleigh Hills Fred Meyer and the Beaverton Fred Meyer at the same time? They're like five miles from each other and it is complete pandemonium. You would think they would be nice enough to leave one remodel job for after the other was finished for people who get severely irritated by shopping in a construction zone.) and picked up the ant traps, brought them home, and ran the dishwasher to clear out what was in there.

This morning I emptied the dishwasher and went to put the ant trap in the bottom of it, as advised by the condo assoication, and as I was closing the door, I noticed a big fat flipping silverfish kind of on the crack where the door seals up against the rest of the dishwasher when it closes. Big. I do NOT like silverfish. I didn't want to deal, so I sprayed some Raid in the general area and went to work.

A concern has been brought up that perhaps there is an issue of standing water under the dishwasher. My landlord asked me to find someone to pull the dishwasher out and have a look, so I'm thinking if I can convince Dennis the Maintenance Man to do it I'll buy him a bottle of something if he doesn't tell the office (I'm not really sure why my landlord doesn't want the office to know we are doing this, but I comply). I haven't called him yet, but I will tomorrow, and as for this evening, my plan is just to not open the dishwasher at all.

I know my phobia is beyond rational, perhaps even bordering on psychotic, but it is what it is. There's no changing it tonight. Heck I couldn't change it in the time it takes me to persuade Dennis the Maintenance Man to help a sister out. All I know is it stresses me out to go in the general kitchen area, but a girl's gotta eat, so I guess I'll tip toe on in there. I'll be carrying the Raid can around in my pocket, though, just in case.


At 2:38 PM, May 20, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God, what a fucking nightmare. I can totally relate (as you know). I saw a silverfish in my kitchen about a year ago. I screamed like a little girl and think I even actually ran out of the room until Mark confirmed that it was not only dead, but somewhere I would never see the body (I didn't ask and don't care). You may actually have to move, Joyce. BH

At 3:56 PM, May 20, 2009, Anonymous Barbie said...

There is nothing worse than silverfish. Nothing.When Pat and I lived at 5705 California, we had an infestation of them. I was reading in bed one night when one actually dropped out of nowhere onto my book. I freaked out totally; the place was practically gutted by the exterminator.

At 11:34 AM, May 22, 2009, Blogger Prodigal daughter / sister / friend said...

eek! maybe it is a good thing you left cancun, i'll remember not to share any of our bug stories with you from moving into an unfinished self build house in the (relative) wilderness of col. doctores. ;o)

At 10:42 AM, May 23, 2009, Anonymous Jackie said...

Yuck! I get the ants in my kitchen or bathrooms every spring even though I pay an exterminator to treat the oustisde of my house. At elast that takes care of the stupid termites.


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